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led by enterprising chieftains, were ever ready to affemble, when the standard of war was erected. Summoned by two of the most powerful leaders in Greece, and fupported by their alliances, a large confederacy was formed at Aulis. It is however lefs to be BRYANT, page 12. confidered as a combination of States than as an affembly of warlike adventurers, "Amongst these were Baotians, Locrians, Mag
nefians, Ætolians, and Thefprotians of Dodona-the people alfo "of Samos, Rhodes, and Crete, contributed a portion of men and
fhipping." To this confederacy therefore we find that a number of warriors acceded who were by no means perfonally injured, and who had little or no connexion with Menelaus and Agamemnon.* This with Mr. Bryant is an infuperable difficulty, but what reafon have we to to fuppofe that they were
* A story so analogous to that of Troy is given us in Mitford's Hiftory of Greece, that I can not help transcribing it; its having happened is a proof at least of the poffibility of a confiderable force taking arms on fuch an occafion, and it is against this poffibility, that Mr. Bryant directs his first arguments. Exploits like that of Paris, were in the twelfth century not uncommon in Ireland. Dermot, King of Leinster, formed a defign on Dervorghal, a celebrated beauty, wife of O'Ruark, King of Leitrim, and by force or fraud fucceeded in carrying her off. O'Ruark refented the affront as might be expected. He procured a confederacy of the neighbouring chieftains, with the King of Connaught, the most powerful Prince in Ireland at their head. Leinster was invaded, the Princess was recovered, and after hostilities continued with various fuccefs, during many years, Dermot was expelled from his kingdom." The fugitive Dermot afterwards. interested Henry the Second in his quarrel, and the conqueft of Ireland by the English, was the result of this private animofity. (See " Mitford's History of Greece." Vol. 1. chap. 1. fect. 4.) How happened it that the King of Connaught and Henry the Second took fo much interest in a quarrel for a woman, "with whom none but the husband was concerned?" (Bryant, page 17.) "The lofs of a wife (whether Dervorghal or Helen) was a private misfortune in which O'Ruark or Menelaus only were interested." We must allow then that what really happened in Ireland, might happen in Greece. I take this opportunity also to acknowledge, that, though previous to reading this paffage in Mitford, I had written the greatest part of this work, yet on opening his ingenious apology for Homer, which precedes the story I have quoted, I was highly gratified to find fo many of my arguments anticipated, and done fuch ample juftice to by that Gentleman, that I scarce had brought forward any answer to this part of Mr. Bryant's work, which was not fanctioned by his high authority. See the whole of the section. (Mitford, fect. 4. chap. 1.)
actuated only by the chivalrous motive* of recovering the frail runaway wife of Menelaus. † Achilles declares that he came thither from a perfonal regard to Agamemnon and Menelaus, the fame motive might poffibly influence many others; a ftrong defire of military fame formed another motive, for in thofe days of piratical violence, the heroes who afferted the cause of justice, stood in the place of the Gods, and were almost revered as such by the enthusiastic gratitude of the nations they protected or avenged. Refentment of a breach of hospitality was also an inducement, the more powerful fince the curfe which must follow fuch a crime in their idea almost infured fuccefs. But with numbers, no doubt, the chief allurement which the confederacy prefented was the promised plunder of Northern Afia. The petty chieftains who, as Mr. Bryant justly observes, were continually engaged in a freebooting warfare, would as certainly unite when a greater plunder offered, and a large force was affembling for the purpose of obtaining it. Greece, at this moment, fwarms with adventurous hordes who are ever ready to join in the wars of the Turkish Governors, and are frequently employed in the heart of Afia, on whatever fide the greatest pay is to be acquired, or the greatest plunder is to be expected. And yet we find that agriculture is neglected, piracy frequent, little communication between the provinces, in fhort every characteristic of the early times, excepting their freedom and their honour. This analogy is unanswerable, and we fhall allow it the more eafily when we find it acknowledged by Mr. Bryant himself, that
Menelaus himself difavows this motive in Euripides, and affigns that of revenge for the infult he had received. See Troades.
† Hom. II. i, 150.-Bryant on the Trojan War, p. 13.
Thucydides was aware of all thefe obnoxious circumftances re-
No analogy conclufive from the first
The fame chapter however contains another objection of Mr. Bryant, in these words: "It seems strange that fo many Cities Rape of Helen by and States should combine to regain her (Helen) when she went away voluntarily, and that not a fingle hamlet fhould rife in her favour when she was carried away by force (by Thefeus) and in violation of the Goddefs whom the ferved." There are many different accounts of this Rape of Helen, fome of which are enumerated by Plutarch. Without confidering the grounds of the story, I do not perceive that it is at all "strange" that the armament which took place against Troy fhould not have been levied against Thefeus. In Mr. Bryant's account indeed we find that Caftor and Pollux alone purfued him to recover her, and that they pursued him immediately; fince he argues from their age that Helen was then a woman. In this however there is much inaccuracy. Her brothers purfued her; but not till they had * levied a confiderable force. They befieged Athens during the absence of Thefeus in Epirus, and after defeating the Athenian forces, near Aphydne, took that fortress where they recovered their fifter. These particulars are also from Plu- See Plutarch, Thetarch, with many other circumstances which fhew the generality of thefe traditional ftories. Since Caftor and Pollux did in fact collect forces fufficient to recover their fifter and revenge the infult offered them, there was certainly no occafion for a more numerous armament; neither was the houfe of Tyndarus powerful
From whence were thefe forces levied, if not a fingle hamlet would furnish them?
enough by its alliances and opulence, to affemble round it fuch auxiliaries as were afterwards convened under the more promising aufpices of the fons of Atreus. When Mr. Bryant therefore concludes, that the whole history is a fable inconsistent from the beginning to the end, the reader muft decide whether the arguments he has hitherto brought forward will justify fuch a general conclufion.
*In his next chapter which we now come to confider, Mr. Bryant begins with an acknowledgement which will have much weight with all who are inclined to give credit to the common fenfe of
War of Troy record- ancient Greece. "Thucydides," he says, "though fagacious and a
ed by Thucydides.
lover of truth, could not set aside the history of the Trojan war;" the Glory and Religion of his country were too much interested in the belief of that event. But we do not find that this historian ever attempts to fet afide the ftory of the Trojan war, nor are we authorised to attribute to him any fuch motives for his prefervation of it; on the contrary, he gives it a formal historical sanction. He relates it as a well known fact, and when we confider the many opportunities he had of examining the truth, and the multitude of collateral teftimonies which time and barbarism have fince annihilated, we cannot avoid giving fome credit to the deliberate opinion of an historian fo judicious, and an age fo enlightened. Without resting our defence however upon his authority, let us confider the objections which Mr. Bryant raises from his narration. He had told us that before this event the
Want of civilifation
no argument against Grecians had done nothing in common, that they were in an
uncertain and roving ftate. He defcribes the Pelafgi as wandering in the country, where in confequence of their want of fecurity there was no traffick and little correfpondence. It was uncertain
"The farther improbability of this hiftory." Mr. Bryant on the war of Troy, p. 16.
into what hands their treasures or harvests might fall, fo that commerce and agriculture were equally neglected. "How comes it then," fays Mr. Bryant, " that just at this crisis they should unite to recover a runaway woman, and that a hundred thousand men should assemble from those states, which could collect only ten thoufand men at Marathon, and scarce feven thousand at Thermopyla."
We will for one moment paufe here to obferve the little analogy between thefe events and the expedition of the Grecians against Troy. The army of Marathon confifted of Athenians alone, if we except one thousand Platæans, who were their only allies in the combat. The troops of Leonidas were fent to defend a narrow defile, till a larger army could be levied to oppofe the enemy; in both cafes the Grecian forces confifted of a few heroes raised in hafte to prevent a furprize, till their countrymen could prepare a more effectual refiftance. At the battle of Platea it seems their army was much larger; it confifted according to Mr. Bryant of 72,500 men, excluding the Helots; but as these also were Greeks we may include them, and we shall find that the whole army confifted of (evdexa μugiades) 110,000 men. It will be remembered also that the Greeks were arming both by fea and land at the fame time, and that at the battle of Mycale no small force was engaged with the Perfians on the very day of the action at Platæa.*